Now, knowing all that about me, would you think that maybe I just might be a little stressed most of the time? If you answered 'YES!', then you are correct.
Now, I will say, I have been working on this some over the last year or two. The stress level has dropped considerably. I am learning how to let go of what truly is not important and what is not in my control. I am learning to make those conscious decisions to play with my kids instead of folding the laundry. But, do I still have a long ways to go? Again, YES!
Last week I wrote a post about a series of sermons our pastor was doing on "Resolutions that Matter". Last week, the sermon had been about CHANGE. Wow... did he ever give me a lot to think about! Or, rather... the Lord gave me a lot to think about as I listened to our pastor. Well, this week, guess what the topic was? Yep... it was TIME. Based on how I started this post you probably can imagine that it was very "timely" (ha, ha... timely... get it??) for me.
Once again, I walked out of that service with much to ponder. If you are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible then you will understand when I tell you that I am a Martha. But, oh, how I want to be a Mary. I don't want to miss out on my time with my family or my friends or any one else because I am too busy being a Martha.
Time is a valuable thing. More valuable, I think, than we will ever understand here on earth. To just begin to put it into perspective (even a little), follow these thoughts (they were included in our pastor's study notes)....
** To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade
** To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby
** How valuable is ONE HOUR? Ask the businessman whose flight was delayed an hour and he missed an important business deal.
** How valuable is ONE MINUTE? Ask the man who had the heart attack and a nearby EMT immediately gives him CPR to save his life.
** How valuable is ONE SECOND? Ask the person who barely missed an oncoming car.
** How valuable is ONE MILLISECOND? Ask the Olympic swimmer who missed qualifying by sixtenths. Time is valuable.
How about this quote by A.W. Tozer? "Time is a resource that is nonrenewable and nontransferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide it up or give it up. you can't hoard it up or save it for a rainy day -- when it's lost, it unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection."
It really makes you stop and think, doesn't it? Here are some of the questions I've asked myself this week.....
** Is it more important that my house is always neat and clean or that I spend special one-on-one time with my kids?
** Is it more important that my bed is made in the morning or that I've spent that time instead in prayer?
** Is it more important that my "to do" list items were all checked off before I went to bed or that I spent an hour in the evening just sitting quietly and visiting with my husband?
Now, all of these questions have an obvious answer. Yes, the time with my kids is more important. The time in prayer is certainly more important than making the bed. And, the time with my husband is more important than any 'ole "to do" list. But, I find that by writing out that question and forcing myself to really address it, that the point is driven home to me more. The truth is, some days I will choose to make the bed instead of pray. Some days I will pick up the house instead of playing with my kids. And, yes, there are days that I will complete that "to do" list instead of spending time with my husband. I NEED to look at the questions and realize that I don't always make the best judgment call. I NEED to focus my time on the most valuable and precious gifts I have been given.
Sure, the house does need to be picked up and it is nice to occassionally get that bed made. But, should I ever do them at the risk of missing out on special time with my loved ones? With God? NO! I need to find the balance. I need to realize that the time I take away from the most valuable gifts I have been given will never be replaced. Once I give it up, it is gone.
I'm going to continue my journey in learning to focus on what is truly important. I'm going to continue to grow and learn how to make the decisions that show my friends and my family that I value them. I'm going to have more times when I just sit and laugh and enjoy. I'm going to have more time in prayer and in God's Word.
Will you join me? Will you jump on this bandwagon with me and learn to use well the gift of time?
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15
"So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12